Media: The Word On The Street

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The Independent Culture
EAGERLY AWAITED is the forthcoming story of L!ve TV by Chris Horrie, the man who wrote Stick it Up Your Punter, the story of The Sun. The book is being kept under wraps until the Mail on Sunday serialisation, fearing an injunction from Kelvin MacKenzie, one-time boss of L!ve TV. MacKenzie is aghast at this suggestion: "After what Horrie wrote about me in Punter, I've hardly got a reputation to protect," he says. MacKenzie is mostly upset that Horrie will make money from writing about his career. "I reckon he's made about pounds 50,000 a year from me." Not surprisingly MacKenzie did not co-operate with the book - although he did agree to be interviewed if Horrie paid him pounds 100,000. Horrie retorted that for that kind of money he could get someone decent - such as Sam Chisholm. The only time Horrie managed to get Kelvin's attention was when he wrote to him in Norwegian in honour of the channel's weather girl.

LAST THURSDAY the Daily Mail decided things were looking grim again for President Clinton. Under the headline "Could this boy bring down the President?" the Mail ran a picture of Danny Williams, the son of a prostitute allegedly fathered by Clinton. On Friday the Mail declared there was an "uncanny likeness" between Clinton and the boy. According to the Mail, people used to look at Danny in Arkansas shops and say: "That must be Bill Clinton's boy." Well, as we now know, they were wrong. The DNA tests cleared Clinton, and yesterday a downbeat Mail reported a White House spokesman saying that if Danny looks like the President, "I'm a space alien".

IT WAS good to see ITN - in their coverage of the forthcoming royal wedding - go for a long period to the OK! picture editor, who said how wonderful Sophie was and what a great asset for the royals. And they ought to know, because the PR company that Sophie works for has OK! as a client.

CHARLIE WHELAN has not stopped spinning, whatever his present job situation. He was still telling journalists last week that Gordon Brown will be the next prime minister of Britain, and more important, that he would be that prime minister's press spokesman. One doubts that Alastair Campbell ever dreams of a job in a Brown administration, but all too easy to imagine Whelan dreaming of the day he asks Campbell to clear his desk.

BBC 1 CONTROLLER Peter Salmon has been making excuses for his channel's fall in ratings on Christmas Day, compared with last year. Turns out we are all getting so many videos under the tree on Christmas morning - and watching them straightaway - that it affects conventional television ratings. The main culprit this year was Titanic - Salmon estimates that 3.5m copies of the video appeared in stockings this year.

Perhaps the BBC thinks that there should be a new rule - you can only watch your Christmas videos when there is another repeat on the telly.

THE NATIONAL Magazine Company boss, Terry Mansfield, famously blows a gasket when any of his editors gets poached. He recently attacked Emap for stealing Fiona McIntosh from Company to be editor of Elle. Now rumour has it that IPC is trying to hire Mandi Norwood, editor of Nat Mags' Cosmopolitan, to edit its deadly rival, Marie Claire.